“Do they like that part of town more than the rest?” Orihime was almost frowning at Uryuu. “We have to run over there a lot.”
Ichigo glanced at the all too familiar bunch in the corner; Orihime, Uryuu, Chad, and Tatsuki, with even Keigo and Mitsuiro hanging around the edges, obviously discussing battle strategies before they headed home to more spiritual chaos. Obviously, because Tatsuki had caught his glance their way and was trying to subtly wave a hand in front of the redhead’s oblivious face. Oops.
“Maybe there’s a lot of upset people?” Orihime charged on, as Tatsuki’s waves grew more frantic. “What if we threw a street festival to cheer everyone up, with dragons and lanterns and masks… well, maybe not masks, they could blend in- Kurosaki!”
A for effort on the smile, Ichigo thought. But brown eyes were too stubbornly not-sad to be real. He slid his glance to the quietest of the bunch. “Think you’re asking the wrong guy if you want to cheer up the town. Chad? Don’t they have some wild street parties over in Mexico?”
Shaggy brown hair dipped as Chad nodded.
“There you go.” Ichigo slung his bag onto his shoulder.
“But you could stay!” Orihime said hastily. “And give us ideas for… the party….”
“Like a martial arts demonstration!” Keigo jumped in, all eager waving fists. “You and Tatsuki, drawing all comers, we could clean up on the bets-”
Uryuu sighed. “Idiot.”
“What?” Keigo said defensively. “They’re both good!”
The Quincy adjusted his glasses. “I’m sure Kurosaki doesn’t want his ribs broken.”
Ichigo bit back any challenging snark, because damn it, Uryuu was right. Tatsuki was a good fighter, she knew how to spar – but anywhere near him she raised her own spirit pressure by reflex, and he had nothing left to resist her. All it’d take would be one distraction and broken ribs would be the least of his problems. “You guys have fun. I’ve got to pick up some things for Yuzu. She’s trying some new recipes.”
Nobody tried to stop him this time.
A/N: You can probably guess that times like this are why Ichigo ended up on that skyscraper.